Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



LAUNCH PAD
Crew Access Arm Installed for Starliner Missions
by Steven Siceloff for KSC News
Kennedy Space Center FL (SPX) Aug 18, 2016


The 50-foot-long, 90,000-pound Crew Access Arm is hoisted off the ground to be installed on the Crew Access Tower at SLC-41. Image courtesy NASA and Kim Shiflett. Watch a video on the technology here. For a larger version of this image please go here.

The Crew Access Arm for a new generation of spacecraft was lifted into place the morning of Aug. 15 at Space Launch Complex-41 where workers are modifying the launch pad to give astronauts access to Boeing's CST-100 Starliner on launch day.

The 50-foot-long, 90,000-pound arm will form a bridge between the newly built Crew Access Tower and the hatch of the spacecraft. Astronauts will walk across the arm to climb inside the Starliner for flight. Poised to begin a mission, the Starliner will sit on top of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.

The arm also holds the White Room, an enclosed area big enough for astronauts to make final adjustments to their suits before climbing aboard the spacecraft.

Work began around 7:30 a.m. with crews attaching cables to the arm before a crane slowly hoisted itoff the launch pad surface. Another crew of workers was waiting in the tower about 160 feet above the surface as the crane maneuvered one end of the arm into a notch on the tower. They bolted and welded the apparatus to the tower to complete the process.

The addition of the arm is the latest in a rapid string of accomplishments for NASA's Commercial Crew Program and its partners. Working independently on separate contracts with NASA's program, Boeing and SpaceX are developing spacecraft and launch systems to take astronauts to the International Space Station.

The additional launch capability will allow the resident crew of the station to grow by one, effectively doubling the time astronauts have in orbit to conduct science vital to spaceflight research, as well as investigations into benefits for those on Earth.

"You have to stop and celebrate these moments in the craziness of all the things we do," said Kathy Lueders, manager of NASA's Commercial Crew Program. "It's going to be so cool when our astronauts are walking out across this access arm to get on the spacecraft and go to the space station."

The arm and tower have been constructed between Atlas V launches at SLC-41. The arm was built at a construction yard near NASA's Kennedy Space Center and trucked to the launch pad on Aug. 11. The tower was built in segments close to the launch pad and stacked together to form the nearly 200-foot-tall structure.

It is the first new crew access structure at the Florida spaceport since the space shuttle's Fixed Service Structures were put in place before Columbia's first flight in 1981. It also is the first new crew access tower at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station since the Apollo Program.

"You think about when we started building this 18 months ago and now it's one of the most visible changes to the Cape's horizon since the 1960s," said Chris Ferguson, a former shuttle commander who is now Boeing's deputy program manager for the company's Commercial Crew Program. "It's a fantastic day."

The advances reminded some of the early days of human spaceflight when the first generation Atlas rockets put astronauts into orbit.

"John Glenn was the first to fly on an Atlas, now our next leap into the future will be to have astronauts launch from here on Atlas V," said Barb Egan, program manager for Commercial Crew for ULA.

Earth is not the only place work is underway to prepare for Commercial Crew missions. Astronauts on the International Space Station will perform a spacewalk Friday to install an International Docking Adapter to a station port that will allow visiting spacecraft including those on commercial crew missions to dock with the orbiting laboratory.

Carried into orbit during the most recent cargo resupply mission, the IDA will become a doorway for astronauts as they cross from their spacecraft into the station. The adapters are outfitted with a network of sensors and fixtures that work with automated systems to dock the spacecraft to the port.


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
Commercial Crew at NASA
Launch Pad at Space-Travel.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
LAUNCH PAD
SSC and Millennium Space Systems Team on Upcoming ALTAIR Launch
Solna, Sweden (SPX) Aug 17, 2016
Officials with SSC, the Swedish Space Corporation, and Millennium Space Systems have announced they are teaming together on the first-ever ALTAIR launch to provide customization and rapid constellation production for Millennium's customers. The ALTAIR spacecraft, a high performance space system for LEO, GEO and deep space missions, will launch on a SpaceX Dragon as part of an International ... read more


LAUNCH PAD
Lockheed Martin, NASA Ink Deal for SkyFire Infrared Lunar Discovery Satellite

As dry as the moon

US company gets historic nod to send lander to moon

China's Jade Rabbit lunar rover dies in blaze of online glory

LAUNCH PAD
So you want to drive a spacecraft

New spectroscopic technique may help zero in on Martian life

Crewed Missions to Mars

Limited power as Mar Lab approaches Murray Buttes

LAUNCH PAD
Commercial Crew Astronauts Discuss Progress, Training with Employees

Pulsar-Based Spacecraft Navigation System One Step Closer to Reality

Autonomous interplanetary travel one step closer to reality

After Deadly Crash, Virgin Galactic to Fly Its Spaceplane Once More

LAUNCH PAD
China launches hi-res SAR imaging satellite

China launches world first quantum satellite

China launches first mobile telecom satellite

China prepares for new round of manned space missions

LAUNCH PAD
Russia Could Cut Down International Space Station Crew

NASA mulls Russian idea to cut staff at space station

NanoRacks External Platform Deployed Outside International Space Station

JSC pursues collection of new technologies for ISS

LAUNCH PAD
New payload preparation milestones bring Ariane 5's upcoming mission closer to liftoff

SpaceX lands Falcon 9 rocket after launching Japanese satellite

Preparations for Arianespace's upcoming Ariane 5 flight move into their final phase at the Spaceport

SSC and Millennium Space Systems Team on Upcoming ALTAIR Launch

LAUNCH PAD
Scientists to unveil new Earth-like planet: report

Astronomers catalogs most likely 'second-Earth' candidates

Alien Solar System Boasts Tightly Spaced Planets, Unusual Orbits

NASA's Next Planet Hunter Will Look Closer to Home

LAUNCH PAD
Undergraduates Build Star-Tracking Instrument for NASA Research Rockets

Long-term health effects of Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs not as dire as perceived

Trust Automation gets Lockheed contract for Q-53 radar

Your brain on Google Glass




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement